broke, young Goldwing lover. Question for you GL vets


Technical information and Q&A applicable to all years and models of Goldwings
  • Sponsored Links
User avatar
alastair.kj
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:33 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Interstate

broke, young Goldwing lover. Question for you GL vets

Postby alastair.kj » Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:17 pm



Hi folks.

I've been a member of this site for almost a year now and love reading all the useful information that you all provide. I've been able to bleed my own brakes and change my own oil, all starting out with absolutely zero mechanical experience.

I ride a 1981 GL1100I.

My question for all you more experienced riders/tinkerers out there who like to do your own work on your bikes:

When you were young and poor like me, how much work were you able to do yourself?
I live in an apartment where I have almost no storage for parts or tools and my only parking spot is on the street, on an incline, no less, so I'm not even on flat ground (making it a bad idea to get on center stand/do any more serious work).
How does anyone get to learn without already having the money/experience to facilitate this kind of work?

Any advice or words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated right now because I am feeling beat down. Owning and operating a bike is hard work!

Cheers



User avatar
lhelber
Posts: 138
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:01 am
Location: Webster, NY
Motorcycle: 2012 GL1800 Navi
1983 GL1100A Aspencade

Re: broke, young Goldwing lover. Question for you GL vets

Postby lhelber » Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:37 pm

If you talk to any Iron Butt rider they will tell you that your tool kit that you carry on your bike should be equipped to be able to do just about anything on your bike. That covers the storage of tools. A nice big tool box will all kinds of fancy tools is nice but certainly not needed to work on your Wing. You also don't need the whole set of sockets or wrenches. The number of required ones is reduced if you can keep them all metric. Most of your extra stuff like lubes and cleaner can be stored in a 5 gal bucket with a lid.

Once you have your toolkit stored on the bike then you can work virtually anywhere out of the way. If you apartment doesn't have a flat spot then maybe at a friend's or family members place. If you need your extra stuff in a bucket just secure the lid and strap it to the bike.

We have a member of our GWRRA group that has a nice barn complete with a lift and it is available to all active members. 90% of the tools we use are only 6 sockets, 6 wrenches and a couple of screw drivers. You might have a chapter in your area.

harvey01
Posts: 628
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 7:14 pm
Location: Henrico, Virginia
Motorcycle: 2004 GL1800

Re: broke, young Goldwing lover. Question for you GL vets

Postby harvey01 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 5:08 pm

I certainly understand your concerns. I think lhelber has a wonderful suggestion to try to hook up with area riders not only for folks to go along on rides but for places to work on your bike. I would look into groups like the GWRRA and the AMA. Some of the folks in GWRRA have truly amazing garages.

I remember the stage of life you are talking about and I knew almost no one who rode back then (50 years). I remember working in my college parking lot and dorm room(almost got kicked out of college due to the floor of the room being full of parts for a few days, but at least I got to know the Dean real well). I worked in apartment lots, on apartment patios, and wherever I could get space. I remember laying in the snow putting a new exhaust system on a TR 6 car one cold winter to pass state inspection.

While I was in the Army stateside there were shops on the installations where you could go and work on cars, they weren't real excited about motorcycles but I did some of that also. But back into civilian life it was back to laying on the ground again.

Eventually life progressed and the family was such that I added a garage and then a small pit bull lift so it is pretty good for me now.
harvey
Ride Safe and Ride Often

User avatar
SteveB123
Posts: 842
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:29 am
Location: Winchester, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 1982 1100I, 60A Poorboy, MSD coil

Re: broke, young Goldwing lover. Question for you GL vets

Postby SteveB123 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:33 pm

When most of the *ahem* more mature riders/drivers/mechanics-in-training were learning how to do things (myself included), the Internet didn't exist.
Forum's like this simply didn't exist, and you couldn't Google yourself out of a jam!
So basically we made a lot more mistakes that could have been avoided, bled more, unnecessarily broke more parts than we needed to.....and had to learn to problem solve on our own.

The problem solving I appreciated.....the rest, not so much.
Current:82 GL1100 Interstate, 60 Amp Poorboy, MSD coil
Previous: 93 GSX1100F Katana
82 GL500 Silverwing

User avatar
robb
Posts: 1040
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:46 pm
Location: Lexington, North Carolina
Motorcycle: 1989 Honda GL1500 Aspencade

Re: broke, young Goldwing lover. Question for you GL vets

Postby robb » Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:40 pm

I grew up on a farm and nothing breaks down at the barn, more likely the muddiest part of the field. Torch welding by age 10 and rather handy with a monkey wrench, adjustable wrench, hammer and a tire tool. Doesn't take a load of tools or a dry spot to work, but a tarp comes in handy. Only way to learn is to try, we quickly learn from our mistakes.

You can work on a sloped elevation, park uphill and it won't roll off center stand.

I have found that almost anything can be done with the tool kit that come with bike. Most serviceable things are covered in detail in an owner handbook.

You are talking a vast group who do their own work because they can't justify what a stealer will charge.

Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted.

User avatar
WVJefo
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:01 pm
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 Aspencade "The 12"
1994 1500 Aspencade "The Black

Re: broke, young Goldwing lover. Question for you GL vets

Postby WVJefo » Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:50 pm

It will get better. You learn, Buy tools when you can. The best thing is brakes are brakes, car or bike. Twisting a wrench on your bike will set you up for twisting a wrench on all your future rides.

Jeff

Dogsled
Posts: 741
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:27 pm
Location: Boardman, OH
Motorcycle: 1997 Goldwing

Re: broke, young Goldwing lover. Question for you GL vets

Postby Dogsled » Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:24 pm

What exactly are you trying to fix?

Mistakes and stories of days gone by may get your blood flowing, but can get you killed on the freeway today.

A monkey wrench ????? Man its been 20 plus years since I heard that word, Robb, you made my day :)

I did many a 1000 mile + rides but me and everyone else who does them starts out with a near perfectly mechanical bike and the tool kit is there to get them out of a jamb and that's it.

The internet is great but know your limitations and know when your bike is safe before you go on the road.....PLEASE.....Everyone here is concerned for your well being i'm sure...heed what they say....

Hey Robb, isn't a Monkey Wrench an adjustable wrench?????? That's the funniest **** i've heard in a long time...... :lol: :lol: :lol: I love it
"Fight until hell freezes over, then fight on the ice"

User avatar
robb
Posts: 1040
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:46 pm
Location: Lexington, North Carolina
Motorcycle: 1989 Honda GL1500 Aspencade

Re: broke, young Goldwing lover. Question for you GL vets

Postby robb » Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:10 pm

Dogsled wrote:Hey Robb, isn't a Monkey Wrench an adjustable wrench??????


Cross between a pipe wrench and an adjustable and hammer, had twice as many as in the picture. Just as good for 1/4" as 2" bolts and still use them today for skidsteer and tractor.

Dogsled
Posts: 741
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:27 pm
Location: Boardman, OH
Motorcycle: 1997 Goldwing

Re: broke, young Goldwing lover. Question for you GL vets

Postby Dogsled » Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:37 am

I think my first wrench was the 3rd one down........I rounded alot of nuts with that thing. Brings back alot of memories. I see you're a collector of fine toolery......... :lol:
Thanks for the pic.
"Fight until hell freezes over, then fight on the ice"

User avatar
alastair.kj
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:33 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: broke, young Goldwing lover. Question for you GL vets

Postby alastair.kj » Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:33 pm

Thanks all for the responses. I was just having a moment of frustration, stemming from being new to tinkering and learning on a bike that I can only assume has had a lot of hands in on it's work over the years. Took out the battery to learn that the positive lead was being held in by a small piece of wood, for example.

My bike didn't have the original toolkit, so I bought one of those aftermarket, motorcycle toolkits, which seems to have everything I need for basic work.

It's just encouraging and entertaining to hear about your experiences. Thanks again!

Cheers

User avatar
golden highway
Posts: 327
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:23 am
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Motorcycle: 1987 Interstate
1998 Aspencade

Re: broke, young Goldwing lover. Question for you GL vets

Postby golden highway » Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:13 pm

I was in your position years ago. I had just a hand full of basic tools and lived on a very steep hill. There wasn't much I could do on my street. I would go to the park and to the far corner of the parking lot where I was away from everyone, plus there were some shade trees there that helped. I was able to most repairs there and no one bothered me. I was neat about what I was doing, now I was not pull the motor and rebuilding it but all the other repairs and maintenance I was able to do. Some days I would sit and wax the bike. I am sure there is an out of the way spot you can find. Buy just the basics. I still only use the basic hand tools while working on the bike. It was inconvenient but hell I lived in San apartment so it was nice getting out. I have a lot of good memory's from those days and met a lot of nice people along the way.

User avatar
Mag
Posts: 1298
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:58 am
Location: Silverlake, WA
Motorcycle: 1982 Yamaha Venture (Crashed/Sold)
1982 1100 Silver Goldwing (sold)
1989 1500 Beige Goldwing (sold)
1988 1500 Beige Goldwing (current ride)

Re: broke, young Goldwing lover. Question for you GL vets

Postby Mag » Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:21 pm

I started out young riding Goldwings (well, I was probably about 28) and one of the good things I did was join the local GWTA chapter at the time (both GWTA and GWRRA were big then in the California Bay Area) and most of the membership were in their 50s and older. They best thing they gave me was....1) help when I needed it, and 2) a place to repair the bike. I remember there was a Saturday gathering and we all got together and learned how to change oil. What is most scary is just taking off all the tupperware, and I know with me I will always break or lose something (I lost a 10mm wrench when I did my latest upgrade, still haven't found it, lol) but that started the tinkering phase.

I have to admit, getting back in to Goldwings, finding this site with all the help from Admin and encouragement and advice from others here are great. I am not afraid as much to want to do something on the bike, and most of the stuff (if you have looked at the instructions here) can be done pretty easily within reason.

The best thing you can have is a good team around you, lots of encouragement, and a camera if you get stuck so that you can take pics and post it here and ask "what the hell is this??"

wing in atlanta
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:55 pm
Location: fayetteville ga.
Motorcycle: 1996 gl1500a aspencade

Re: broke, young Goldwing lover. Question for you GL vets

Postby wing in atlanta » Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:21 am

I find a camera is my best friend. Take pictures of how it came apart and you can look at them when you go back together.

User avatar
Sidcar
Posts: 502
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:07 pm
Location: Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
Motorcycle: 1991 GL1500/6 with Watsonian Oxford sidecar

Re: broke, young Goldwing lover. Question for you GL vets

Postby Sidcar » Sat Apr 12, 2014 3:43 am

I don't know if this bloke is near you but he's the local rep for the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club, he would know if there is another member in you area. With an old bike it's useful to build up a network of contacts and fellow sufferers who will help out with advice, tools, premises, beer, etc.

Ambrose Knobel
2217 Dockside Way
Nanaimo, BC V9R 6T8
ambrosek@telus.net
250-753-4985
It has been known for local technical colleges to run evening courses in motorcycle/car maintenance, if your new too spanner work either would be helpful.

Joining this forum is one of the best things you did, apart from buying your wing.

Sid

User avatar
lhelber
Posts: 138
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:01 am
Location: Webster, NY
Motorcycle: 2012 GL1800 Navi
1983 GL1100A Aspencade

Re: broke, young Goldwing lover. Question for you GL vets

Postby lhelber » Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:35 am

If it is stories you like, a couple of years back I was visiting a friend out of town. He had purchased a Honda Shadow and was learning about riding and taking care of it. He had a coolant leak but felt he had fixed it and was ready to ride. We got a little way down the road and it started to over heat. We looked and the reservoir was empty. I got some coolant from a local parts store and we added it. By the bike cooled and we took off. 15 minutes later he was over heating again. We checked and the coolant was still in the reservoir but the radiator was empty. The reservoir was lower than the radiator so it had lost its syphon. By now we were on a lonely road and no funnel to poor the coolant into the radiator. The solution; I pulled my toolkit out of my Wing and we removed his radiator filled it with coolant, topped off the reservoir and reinstalled everything. We enjoyed riding the rest of the day. He hasn't had to do anything else to his cooling system since. The repairs were done on a wide gravel shoulder along the road.

Moral of the story: having the tools and ability to make the repairs in less than ideal conditions will allow you to continue a great day's worth of riding.

User avatar
alastair.kj
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:33 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: broke, young Goldwing lover. Question for you GL vets

Postby alastair.kj » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:17 pm

I'm in Victoria BC so Nanaimo is pretty close.I would love to build up "a network".

Doing the work myself is exciting and nerve wracking all at once, but that's part of the adventure. Managed to take care of a couple small issues since starting this post.

Thanks again everyone!

User avatar
Uncle Fester
Posts: 1003
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:21 pm
Location: Bethany, Ok, right off Route 66 !
Motorcycle: 1996 GL-1500 Cali model 'Wing, blue in color, named Ol'Blue

Re: broke, young Goldwing lover. Question for you GL vets

Postby Uncle Fester » Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:50 pm

I feel your pain, years ago I was in the same place, with what was then a 20 plus year old bike. I used a basic tool box like this, http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-3-Draw ... 5yc1vZc22a and a Clymer manual for my bike. I bought a tool or two on pay day until I had a good set up, and cussed a lot as I broke things, or when I was smarter than the book and skipped a step, only to find out why they said do it this way.

I suggest you start the same way, get a decent tool box, start with the basic tools and slowly build your set up, and also, get a set of repair dvds like Cruisermans set from wing stuff, and WATCH them before you jump in on a job.


Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself. Our stress about it happens when the two aren't the same. Be true to yourself and to hell with what everyone else thinks!

Image


Return to “Tech Talk”




Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest